Deep Winter

We are in the icy clutches of winter at the moment and even though the winter solstice has passed we still have many long nights and cold days ahead. Fortunately I don't have to move much because my little sanctuary is well set up. My studio is set in a corner of our work room and I sit cosily in the morning sun able to happily work away. I can play bridge in the same space and as long as I'm wrapped in a pashmina, all is warm and cosy.

The Zoom sessions have been a great success and I feel that we all benefit from a new form of learning. Certainly, sitting and demonstrating gives me much time to think of how best to present work and ideas to participants. The admin preparation and lesson planning is a lot, but I think that the time spent together is worth it as well as being useful and productive. Certainly being able to sit in the same space without packing up all the pens, paper and paint is much easier for all and I simply move from computer to desk in five steps.

John Moore has been working flat out and is producing some remarkable works. His new series are vibrant, extremely creative and fascinating. I cannot display all his new works, but do go onto his FB page or follow him on Instagram to view his new works. They are detailed and thought provoking. There are some interesting plans afoot to display his works digitally to allow art lovers to purchase work. I will keep you posted.

We of course have not been able to travel in the past few months, but I re-live moments of our travels and write copiously about our experiences. I love evoking those special moments and become more and more nostalgic about (dare I say it?) 'the good old days'. Talking about those 'good old days' I once again delved into old photograph albums to pull out wonderful images. As I pass the mirror nowadays, I am confronted more and more by 'my mother' and every now and again my paternal grandmother. All rather quaint and charming.

I have found that water-colour is a new-found talent which I am enjoying stroke by stroke. I've always been fascinated by colour and the many variants of blues, greens and so on. I love mixing colours and so enjoy the surprises that land on my paper. I started off with floral work which has flowed into painting scenes, fruit and buildings. being a calligrapher I do add lettering and love the juxtaposition of graphite and water-colour. Such a fascinating discovery and I'm enjoying every moment of the journey.

At the moment my upstairs retreat is affording me some wonderful moments of creativity and wonder. I am almost reluctant to think about re-entering the 'real world' whatever that means these days. Fortunately, being of 'a certain age' David and I are cautioned by family to remain as secluded as we can, so home I stay gathering material for talks and sketching, calligraphy and painting.

While I think about it, perhaps I should transfer one of my red Maasai blankets upstairs, just in case I need a little more warmth about my knees in these cold winter days.

While you ponder the wonders of the world in which we now live may I suggest that you, in words from the poet Derek Walcott's Poetic Ode to Being at Home in Ourselves: 'take down the love letters from the bookshelf. Sit. Feast on your life.

Take care and keep warm.

Till next time...